It's the question on everyone's mind as they get older and become aware of high cholesterol stats and figures. Although high cholesterol levels increase your risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease, other factors, such as smoking, blood pressure and even your age, also contribute to increasing your risk.

To take all the risk factors into account, scientists developed a risk calculator called the Framington Risk Score. This calculator determines your risk of developing a major coronary event (i.e. a heart attack) in the next 10 years. The answer is given as a percentage and a risk greater thn 20% is considered high.

Each and every person with high cholesterol levels should have his/her risk calculated. You can calculate your own risk, using the online Cholesterol calculator, or you can ask your doctor to calculate your risk.

It is important to know your risk, as your cholesterol goal levels are set according to your risk.

For some people the risk will be high (greater than 20%) from the outset and no calculation is required. For the rest, risk calculation is required to determine goal cholesterol levels.

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